Monthly Archives: May 2015

Thumb sucking Baby: Should I worry? How can I get baby to stop it?

Thumb sucking 

Thumb sucking is very common childhood habit which almost all the parents must have heard about as well as faced once in a while. Usually thumb sucking is not a cause to worry about.

WHY do children suck thumb?

It is Soothing activity for children. Babies do it when they are feeling bored, anxious or tiered. It is a way to cope up with stress or anxiety and they feel safe and relaxed while sucking thumb.

How long will it last?

Most of the children stop sucking thumb by 4 years of age. Most commonly between 2-4 years of age. Most of the kids who suck thumb beyond this point stop in view of peer pressure at school.

 ts 2

When should we try to stop it?

It should not be a concern until permanent teeth start erupting. Once permanent teeth start coming it can damage the roof of mouth and teeth might be not aligned properly. We should consider intervention if

  • Child continues to suck thumb aggressively even after age of 4-5 years
  • Thumb sucking leads to dental problems


What can be done to stop thumb sucking?

  • Ignore it: In many cases, if you do not pay any attention to thumb sucking, child stops it (in cases where it is a behavior thing in which child do it to catch your attention).
  • Positive reinforcement: Praise your child when he or she is not sucking thumb and give them small rewards to encourage their positive behavior (like extra bedtime stories, some stickers etc).
  • Try to identify triggers: Thumb sucking could be in response to stress or anxiety. If you hug the child and provide reassuring words, it can do wonders. Children want unconditional love all the time.
  • Gently remind your child: Do not scold or threaten the baby; but simply offer a gentle reminder to stop. Do not embarrass the child in front of others; just tell them by using private cues.
  • And remember, most habits in young kids are just passing phases.

Does negative reinforcement have any role in thumb sucking? 

Resist the temptation of using aversion techniques like putting chili powder, vinegar or other bitter stuff on thumb. It can only worsen the situation.


Should we consult Dentist?

Opinion can be taken; as they can directly counsel the child. Dentist might recommend a special mouth guard. But these are reserve for extreme cases.



  • Thumb sucking is a childhood habits, which will go away sooner or later; so try not to worry.
  • Putting too much pressure on your child to stop thumb sucking might only delay the process.


Dr Rahul Varma


Complimentary feeding or Weaning diet in young infants

She is a Rice girl

Complementary feeding: (weaning food)

It is defined as any non breast milk food or nutritious foods given to young children in addition to breast milk.( i.e. it is to complement breast milk, not to replace it.)

Age of Introduction: after 6 months (before 6 months exclusive breast feeding is best for the baby)


Attributes of Complementary feeds:

  • Soft and flowing
  • Thicker than Breast milk
  • Bland in taste
  • Homogeneous ( based on cereal or root staple foods)
  • 1 to 2 times a day to start with
  • Gradually increase frequency and quantity


Foods appropriate for complementary feeds:

  • Pulses (lentil, beans, peas), meat milk, vegetable oil and sugar
  • To increase dietary energy levels : oil, ghee, sugar
  • To increase quality of protein: milk product and animal food
  • Calcium: Milk
  • Iron: Meat, chicken, fish
  • Rich in Vitamin & Minerals: Vegetable and fruits

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Anything which is free flowing and well mashed and easy to swallow and calorie dense can be given. And you should always consult your Pediatrician at the start of weaning diet/ complementary feeding, so that he or she can guide you in best possible way which is culturally acceptable as well.


Stay Healthy and eat healthy.

For any queries feel free to contact your child specialist or contact us at Maya Clinic.


Dr. Rahul Varma